Posted by: Craig Woolheater on May 7th, 2014
Well, it looks like the Brits are the lucky ones…
Seems like Bobcat Goldthwait’s Bigfoot film Willow Creek was released last Friday, May 2 in the UK.
Still unclear on US release release date for the US, other than a screening on May 23rd at the Seattle International Film Festival.
Here are some snippets from reviews coming in:
Footage has been found of a couple on the hunt for Bigfoot and the site where that infamous Bigfoot film of 1967 was made, known as Bluff Creek. That in itself suggests the fate of these two intrepid explorers as they search around in the nearby town looking at evidence and gathering interviews. Despite being warned away by locals through use of polite suggestion and angry threats they head off into the forest itself in search of the beast armed with a tent and their camera equipment.
“Ha, you’ll be fine.” Jim (Bryce Johnson) says to his girlfriend Kelly (Alexie Gilmore) at the start of this film, which no doubt makes the entire audience roll their eyes as they think “Oh no he didn’t!” Willow Creek is a hand held camera, found footage horror flick, so you prepare yourself for shaky footage, just off screen monsters and a slow build up of tensions across the film as you find yourself more and more unnerved about what is going on. Oh and try not to think too hard about Blair Witch Project otherwise you might find yourself drawing comparisons a little too often.
I like found footage films. Done right, they can really build up tension even though the majority of the film is just a bunch of people wandering around an area and filming way more than they need to. Probably going through about two hundred batteries in the process. However, with Willow Creek the nervous feeling in your stomach doesn’t really start to build up until you are through the first third of the film which consists of little interviews with locals and random outings for the couple, which, although very sweet and funny, don’t really add to the film. When they finally set off into the woods you feel the film really begins and the excitement really kicks off.
Goldthwait understands something that many who venture into found footage fail to, and that’s to make it as real as possible. He does this by hiring genuine locals for the interview segments. Whether they knew this was fiction or not is impossible to gauge. Questions are left unanswered, shots aren’t always clear, and if we were in a world with less communication and information, there is no doubt people would debate the entire film’s authenticity.
Any issues to be had with the film will come down to a dislike of the format in general, those who find it too similar to previous efforts, or those expecting more biting satirical wit from Mr. Goldthwait. Thankfully, the connection felt to the characters as well as some truly terrifying scenes help to make this an enjoyable experience for all the right reasons, with a lengthy single shot of nothing but our protagonists’ upper halves as they listen to noises bringing the fear factor to excruciating odds.
As un film de Bobcat Goldthwait, the former comedian co-star of Police Academy films turned cult auteur, Willow Creek is a mild disappointment, lacking as it does in the out-there wackitude of Shakes the Clown or the scrappy satirical vigour of World’s Greatest Dad or God Bless America. But as a horror film using that now-tired device, “found footage” supposedly shot by the characters themselves,, it’s quite passable. Alexie Gilmore and Bryce Johnson star as a semi-likable, semi-obnoxious hipster couple who venture into the woods of northern California to shoot a YouTube documentary about the legend of Bigfoot, aka Sasquatch. (Goldthwait has described the film as The Blair Squatch Project.) In town, they snark at the tacky Bigfoot merchandising and wryly interview the locals (played by real people), but once in the woods things get properly creepy. A 19-minute static shot that just holds on the couple’s freaked-out faces deploys sound beautifully and also works as a meta-level reflection of the audience itself. What a shame the last few minutes are such a cop-out.
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.